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Does C25K work?

As someone who's not the best at running, but generally in shape, I want to start the Couch to 5 KM program. Has anyone here done it and if so, did you see results? How fast did you notice results if you had any? Thanks! :)


  • RedBess
    RedBess Posts: 111 Member
    I did the C25K program about 5 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did. I was never a runner, but suddenly decided that I wanted to become one. I found downloading the C25K podcast really helpful. I didn't have to watch the clock for the intervals and though it wasn't music I usually listen to, the beat kept me at a manageable pace. It has a nice steady build up to making the jogging intervals longer than your walking intervals. I would recommend this to anyone who is wanting to break into running.
  • sarahhoward24
    sarahhoward24 Posts: 12 Member
    I done it recent ally and when I started couldn't run for more than Afew minutes this morning I ran continually for 37 minutes so proud of myself and would highly recommend the c25k app
  • training2bme
    I was a runner (marathons) and had to take time off for an injury. When I returned to running, I used the C25K program and was able to set a 25 second record for a 5K race.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
    I have history of broken ankles and torn ligaments, each time I tried to start running without some structure to it I ended up getting shinsplints and joint pain very quickly.

    I started a C25K programme in May of last year, using the NHS podcast series and tracking performance using Runkeeper on my iPhone.

    It's a nine week programme, in practice I took 12 weeks. I had a week off due to workload and stepped back to repeat two weeks, then had another week off due to workload but only repeated the week I was on.

    Once I got to the end of that I used the NHS C25K+ series, to improve speed and stamina then moved onto a 10K programme.

    It certainly worked for me, but as much of that was the structure as anything else. There are other ways to do it.
  • burdsjm
    burdsjm Posts: 2 Member
    I have done it a few times. It's pretty awesome. Great program.

    I started doing the program the first time and did it jogging. Next time I did the program over again with a faster jog.

    Just found out that my running form sucks, so I am doing the program over again with proper running form.
  • Raasy
    Raasy Posts: 972 Member
    the program works!!! its set up to take you slowly and build you up to run the distances. Even if you think you cant do the 20 minute run in week 5, don' doubt yourself you can do it, you have been training to do it. Just go slow and listen to your body. Get proper fitting shoes take your time and go with the flow, don't rush the program 9skip weeks) and if you have to redo a week if you feel you need to. Its is a great program, I graduated from it in July 2013, and I was not a runner at all before then.

    Check out the c25k group
  • WendyFlynn
    WendyFlynn Posts: 139 Member
    Yes as a programme, it definitely works! At 37 and sedentary, I completed a few 5ks. However, I am a lazy girl at heart and didn't enjoy it very much and stopped running :-(

    As for results, not sure if you mean inches or weight loss? I lost inches (2 at the most around my waist) but no weight. I was more successful cutting calories for weight loss than incorporating the little running I did 3 times a week.

    BUT...... I felt good, my body toned up, I slept better, my skin glowed.

    Why on earth did I stop!!!!

    Go Girl, just do it. Results will differ from person to person.

    I may just go out tomorrow for a little run now, I miss the feeling!
  • cindyanne29
    cindyanne29 Posts: 17 Member
    Yes I did C 2 5K. It works! I then joined a 5K training club and ran with other newbies.
  • sevsmom
    sevsmom Posts: 1,172 Member
    You can't swing a stick around this website without hitting someone who's done C25K and been successful. I didn't use it to start my running, but so many have. Just remember, the "run" intervals don't mean run-like-someone's-chasing-you fast. Just pick up the pace to a comfortable jog and go from there. Lots of people crash and burn starting out with running by trying to break the all time speed record when they start! Good luck!
  • TheDarkestStar87
    TheDarkestStar87 Posts: 246 Member
    I did a C25K almost three years ago now, and it definately worked. Word of warning though: You'll probably get hooked once you see and feel all the benefits of it and after a few races, PBs may become a bit of an obsession :wink: . I ran my first half marathon last year and toying with the idea of a full one next year
  • coral_b
    coral_b Posts: 264 Member
    Amazing program! My first 5k I didn't train -I did it for charity as a desperate attempt to kick-start fitness. My time was 41 minutes. After C25K I actually love running. My time is now 34 minutes. I'm hoping for 31 minutes by July when I can run the charity race with pride.
    As for weightloss- that is down to diet and calorie deficit, however the fitness and health benefits are great! It's a really good program and you can do it at your own pace. Good luck!
  • anne2605
    anne2605 Posts: 482 Member
    You should definitely give it a go. I'm quite a bit older than you at 49 and was not a runner when I first started the C25K programme last Jan. I thought I was going to die the first 60 second I was expected to run but now I can run for 60 mins straight, no stopping. I now run 5K at least 3 x pw and I'm currently training to run a half marathon (I ran a 5K and a 10K last summer).

    I did lose 51lb between Jan and May but I wouldn't put it solely down to running. I also introduced a healthier diet. I did notice I was much fitter fairly quickly though.

    So sure, go for it.
  • ChristiH4000
    ChristiH4000 Posts: 531 Member
    YES. I started in about the same spot as you and it was great. Be patient with yourself and repeat weeks, if needed. I'm now hoping to run a 10K this spring.
  • Elsie_Brownraisin
    Elsie_Brownraisin Posts: 786 Member
    I haven't done any races and run on a treadmill at the gym because I'm not confident running outside yet....

    But yes, it was great to get me started. When I started I couldn't run for more than 1 minute without wanting to cough up my lungs. I now run at least 5k 3 times a week.

    I'm still not fast by most people's standards but I have managed to shave off almost 10 minutes since the first time I managed it without stopping.

    I really recommend it.
  • Spresto2
    Spresto2 Posts: 53 Member
    yes. Unless you are in poor health, physically unable or a medical professional has warned you away from running for whatever reason...this program is reliable for getting you to run for 3 miles without needing to walk (unless you want to or need to and depending on your actual goals). It requires the same thing any workout program requires...your commitment. Have fun. It's really not that hard. Just show up on schedule and don't give up.
  • Phaedra2014
    Phaedra2014 Posts: 1,254 Member
    I went from someone who couldn't run 10 steps to running 3.1 miles thanks to that program.

    Can't run a step more than 3.1 miles though!
  • xHayley19
    xHayley19 Posts: 58 Member
    I initially downloaded the podcast, and honestly I would have never been able to run to it because of the music. Its so boring and it does not motivate me at all. Then I found the C25K app on ios. You can play your own music and as long as your phones not set to silent it will tell you when you need to walk, jog etc. I love the C25K app, I am only on week 2 day 3. However, I was never a runner but was fit as used to play a lot of sports and go to the gym but never had the stamina for running. Although, I haven't noticed results myself yet. People are saying my face looks slimmer, legs look more toned and have generally lost weight. Also it helps if you an find like scenic route near where you live as it gives you something to look at, for example, near my house there is a beach and there is also a back road that leads up to a castle which is absolutely stunning at sunrise/sunset. I also feel a sense of achievement every time I complete a run, but maybe that's just me because I used to hate running so much.

    Picture I took today while on my 90 seconds brisk walking


    Edit: Trying to get the picture to show up I am useless with technology. If this doesn't work, Then here is the link
  • gertudejekyl
    gertudejekyl Posts: 386 Member
    I could not job 1 block when I started. This morning I jogged 31 minutes. i have to do each week twice -so it took about 20 weeks to be able to go 30 minutes. Still can't go 5k yet...onward and upward....:flowerforyou:
  • Running_Spirit
    It definitely works. It worked for me.
  • wombat94
    wombat94 Posts: 352 Member
    I'll add my voice to the chorus.

    C25K works very well to get you running.

    I could barely do the 60 second running segments in week 1.

    I ran my first 5K race - running the whole thing (albeit at a slow 36 minutes) during week 8 of the program.

    I started in January 2012 and went of from there. I have kept running and am training this year for my first marathon. I attribute a lot of that success to C25K because I would never have gotten started without it.